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Wilderness Sports Conditioning




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7/2/2005 - Lisa
I live in southeast Arizona where I do a lot of hiking in the "sky islands". A typical day hike can easily involve altitude changes of +7000 feet with temperatures in the 100+ degree range and very intense sunshine. What types of things could you recommend that would acclimate the body for this combination of stressors?

Lisa, great question! This may merit a spot in a future FAQ for our newsletter. In brief, the very best recommendations we can give would be regarding controlling your own body temperature -- hiking early in the day before it gets really sweltering; wearing the lightest clothing possible (white, but covering as much of you as possible to avoid sunburn); keeping a wide-brimmed hat on; carrying more water than you ever think you'll need to stay thoroughly hydrated and fueled with food; and carrying as little as possible (though with the essentials "just in case") so you can move quickly and as unencumbered as possible. You may find our article on hyponatremia especially useful: http://www.bodyresults.com/E2hyponatremia.asp. In terms of preparation, be certain that you've worked up to being able to gain the desired elevation at cooler temperatures before you try it in the extreme heat. Good luck.

Thanks for the question,


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